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Book blogging: Three Pillars of Indian Skepticism Chapters Two & Three

In Chapters Two and Three of his book, Ethan Mills sets out his understanding of the 2nd/3rd century CE Indian philosopher Nāgārjuna. Since this is a blog post and not a thorough, scholarly book review, I can't do justice to both chapters in terms of engaging with both Ethan's* book and the immense literature on Nāgārjuna. What I will try to do is set out in a schematic way what he's arguing for. Essentially, the two chapters together set out existing interpretations of Nāgārjuna and Ethan's interpretation in light of these options. Even though Nāgārjuna has written other works, Three Pillars focuses on two of the most important of those where his authorship is uncontested: the Mūlamadhamakakārika (MMK, Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way) and the Vigrahavyāvartanī (VV, Dispeller of Disputes). Ethan's positive thesis is that Nāgārjuna argues for no positive philosophical position in either text, despite appearances, but rather, he uses philosophical argumentation…

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